Review: Lending Light by Rose Christo

Sometimes my imagination bleeds into reality."

Eleven years ago a serial killer menaced the Nettlebush Indian Reservation. Rafael Gives Light is his son. A loner, Rafael relies on his startlingly overactive imagination to escape the distrust and vitriol of his peers.

In the summer of 2000 an exceptionally blond boy moves to Nettlebush. Rafael learns that the boy is his father’s last living victim. The boy wants to be friends.

On Friday I talked about my love for the first four Gives light books by Rose Christo and today I'm going to talk about the fifth book in the series, Lending Light. Lending Light takes us right back to the beginning of the story, it is, more or less, the same storyline as in Gives Light (though it doesn't follow quite as far into events as Gives Light). I have to admit, after reading the first four in the series, I was a little reluctant to go back to the beginning. I considered it would be interesting to see things from Raf's POV, but honestly, I kinda thought it was going to be boring. I'd seen all this before, I wasn't ready for a repeat. I needn't have worried - within the first few pages I was hooked.

Yes, I did know the story - the thing is however, Rose Christo is excellent at writing the characters. So the events might be the same but the feelings weren't. I thought I understood Raf from reading the first books...and I did, to a certain extent, but he shines in a whole knew light in this book.

In a way I might even have enjoyed this book all the more for having read the others, though I believe it could be read first or alone. Raf is a complicated boy - imagine wearing the face of a killer and being judged for it your whole life? Or at least feeling as if you're being judged for it. Imagine loving someone despite the fact that you know they did something horribly unforgivable. I love how Rose Christo explores the grey. How there is more to a human character than just good or bad, how we are ALL a mixture of both components.

Seeing the effects of a man's actions and the consequences on two people trying to find their way in life. Trying to discover who they are and who they love is just wonderful. It is eye-opening really. It made me think about how quick we are to judge or even label. It's understandable really, we're all just trying to make sense of the world around us but it's a reminder that whatever age we are we're always learning. Rafael is a wonderful, wonderful character and I really enjoyed seeing his world through his eyes. As much as Sky and he are intrinsically connected they are also totally separate entities. Raf, for all his anger and anti-social behaviour loves unconditionally and seeing these - feeling this - through him was so beautiful. Seeing Skylar through his eyes was just heart warming really.

As always Rose Christo creates a world that fascinates me. The descriptions are as divine as ever, these are books that you feel rather than just read. I would say to anyone who enjoyed the first book of the series but are worried about reading this, to give it a go, I'm willing to bet you won't be disappointed.

Find out more about Lending Light at Goodreads.


  1. The cover caught my eye, the setting drew me in, the review sealed it--I want to read. I know you say that it could be read first or alone, but...better to start with the first book? Would reading this first make reading the first book less satisfying, do you think?

  2. Hmmm..possibly. I think I would read book 1 first, then this or book 2. I don't think it would make a difference to the enjoyment of this book, but I can't say for sure how reading book 1 would be after this one. Does that make sense? I hope you enjoy them, whichever order you read them in! Let me know what you think. :)